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New South Wales Lockdown Ends With Promises Strict Measures Won't Return

Hard COVID-19 lockdowns would not return to NSW following the state's reopening from restrictions, according to the health minister.

As NSW emerges from, in some places, more than 100 days of lockdown, Greg Hunt said he was confident the state's hospital system would be able to handle a potential surge in the number of virus presentations.

"I'm confident that NSW has made the right decision, they've made the right decision on vaccinations, on lockdowns and contact tracing," Mr Hunt told ABC Radio National.

"Many people would say a 100-day lockdown was too long but what they have done is strike the right balance, it has been incredibly difficult, it has been hellishly difficult for so many people."

Health experts and medical bodies have expressed concern about a spike in case numbers in hospitals as movement increases across NSW and restrictions ease.

However, Mr Hunt said the NSW hospital system was ready to withstand potential pressure and that vaccine uptake rates were helping.

"I would say NSW has been tested and their hospital system has been tested with 1500 cases a day and now it's down well below that," he said.

"The hospital system is well-prepared, and around the country those systems are being prepared and vaccine uptake's a very important part of that."

It comes as COVID-19 booster shots will be made available from Monday for severely immunocompromised Australians.

Mr Hunt said the national advisory body on immunisations was expected to provide advice by the end of the month on how a national program would be rolled out for rest of the population.

He said 150 million doses of boosters shots have been secured for 2022 and beyond.

Currently, vaccine rates nationally are at 82.2 per cent for people over 16 with a first dose, while almost 62 per cent are fully vaccinated.

While NSW will ease lockdowns from Monday, the ACT will also end its stay-at-home orders from Friday.

It comes as a new report urged the federal government to commit to further action to fight the pandemic in poor countries.

A new report from the End COVID for all Campaign says two-thirds of 77 epidemiologists in 28 developing countries believe if action is not taken now, it would take less than a year before the virus mutates.

At the current rate, more than 19 low-income countries won't reach a 70 per cent vaccination rate until after 2030.